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    Workplace Safety Topic

    Hearing Conservation

    Workplace noise is one of the most pervasive occupational health problems. It can cause short- and long-term damage to hearing, depending on the intensity of the noise and the duration of the exposure. But gauging whether workers need hearing protection, even occasionally, can be tricky.

    The best way to measure noise is with a decibel meter, but it’s unlikely that workers carry one with them daily. So, encourage them to pay attention to other signs like ringing ears when they leave work or the need to shout to get the attention of nearby co-workers. Those signs likely point to the need for hearing protection. And consider whether a formal hearing conservation program is in order for your business. You’ll find that once it’s established, keeping workers protected is simple and affordable.

    Getting Started:

    There are six basic steps to setting up a hearing conservation program. These are detailed in the resources section below. Here’s a preview:

    1. Conduct a noise survey, identifying high-noise areas and impacted workers.
    2. Control the noise at the source and/or limit the amount of time a person is exposed.
    3. Protect with PPE, making sure it fits properly and is used consistently.
    4. Provide testing for workers to make sure they aren’t experiencing hearing loss.
    5. Implement training about the effect of noise and the best protections.
    6. Document and record all aspects of the program to meet regulatory requirements.